Hundreds of cannabis farms raided by West Midlands Police

A large amount of drug factories were discovered last year

West Midlands Police has revealed how much cannabis was seized and how many drug factories were raided in the region last year.

The force said that most of the industrial-size cannabis production set-ups in the county are linked to organised crime gangs who are ‘making big money on the back of others’ suffering.’

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Working to target the gangs, the force said they often find people have been trafficked to the West Midlands illegally to tend the crop, at drug factories - living in squalid conditions in the drugs dens, while children or vulnerable people are used to deal drugs or move them across the country.

How much cannabis was seized in 2021?

Last year, the force raided more than 250 large cannabis factories across the West Midlands and seized drugs valued at around £84-million.

The biggest was uncovered in a building in Slaney Road, Walsall, on 24 May when more than 6,000 cannabis plants were found crammed into 40 rooms.

These drugs factories need large amounts of electricity and officers usually find the power supply has been bypassed.

It means, due to the dodgy wiring, they are a fire hazard and it’s not unusual for them to go up in flames.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Dale is from our Serious Organised Crime & Exploitation team. He said: “We’re not talking about some recreational drug use here, this is top-level organised criminality, linked to exploitation and violence.

“The cannabis factories can be in industrial units or disused factories but often we find them in residential streets surrounded by family homes or even near schools.

“They are a magnet for anti-social behaviour and crime.

“Increasingly people are getting fed up with being blighted by these drug factories and are calling us with information. That’s helping us uncover more and more illegal premises and damaging the revenue making streams for crime gangs.”

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